My Busiest Day in Washington

My Busiest Day in Washington

It was 1:30 in the morning on December 9th, the first day of my last week in Washington. I had gone to sleep at 8:30 p.m. the night before, woken up between 10 and 11 p.m. to make my plan for the day and tried to catch a little more sleep before I had to wake up again.

 

This was the busiest day of semester in Washington. My final TWC Portfolio was due at 5 o'clock that afternoon and still needed some finishing touches. If that wasn't reason enough to lose sleep, CBS This Morning was being broadcast from the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum the same day and I had to be there at 3:45 in the morning!

 

Our workspace in museum before the show.

 

There had been some freezing rain the night before, so after working on my portfolio until 3:15 a.m., I decided to take an Uber Black Car to the museum. Uber is a great car service app available in major cities like D.C. Since this was my first ride with them, I received a 20 dollar credit and got my ride for free!

 

When I arrived at 3:45 on the nose, the museum was already pretty active. Two CBS live trucks were set up outside to beam the show to the entire country. Inside the courtyard, an army of technical staff -- who had set up the CTM table, producers’ seats, a jib camera (camera on moving arm) and other stationary cameras -- was hurrying around getting everything ready.

 

A close up of the jib cam and anchor assistant work area.

 

The only lights in the huge courtyard were the LED light panels set up around the set. My job was to run and help out wherever I could with odd tasks. That meant bringing all of the boxes of accessories from the D.C. bureau in to the museum first. I placed mugs for the anchors and guests on the set, set up mirrors for them in a makeup room and helped the caterer bring food in for everyone.

 

Charlie Rose on set at the museum.

 

A wider shot with some producers and the jib cam in it.

Bob Schieffer is on set in the background.

 

After that, I began my duties as a greeter which involved making sure everyone was signed in and knew where they needed to go. I helped and talked to correspondents, our executive producer, Charlie, Norah and Gayle, even Senators John McCain and Claire McCaskill as they walked in the museum’s doors. At one point, I did have to go get coffee at the Starbucks across the street for some of the staff. It was only the second time I had gotten coffee for anyone during my entire time I was at CBS. It actually provided a nice opportunity for me to chat with our executive producer and some of the on-air talent.

 

Teleprompter operator preparing to tape CTM greetings for the West Coast.

 

An empty producer workspace after the show.

 

Luckily, I was able to take some time away from that job to watch Bill Plante do his live shot to begin the Smithsonian Artifacts piece we worked on the week before. His live shot was set up in one of the American Art Museum’s hallways next to a bust. It was neat to see a dense four-minute feature piece come full circle like that.

 

Bill Plante preparing to do his stand up for the museum feature.

 

Finally, at 4:45 p.m., I turned in my portfolio after running to Staples to get it bound. It was truly one of my most exhausting and exciting days in D.C.

 

Keep reading, the next blog is my last one!

 

Cheers,

Dustin

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